ice creams
You can't go home again.

The main thing I wanted at the end of each day this past weekend (meaning Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) was to get out of all the stretchy workout clothing that I had been wearing for a total of perhaps 20 hours. I found this desire surprising for three reasons: a) two years ago I spent 200+ hours in yoga (often lycra) clothes over a six week period, in order to get my yoga teaching certification, b) the magic of modern textile technology and the brilliance of Lululemon’s and other similar labels’ designers have produced some clothes that are very comfortable and flattering. And yet my skin and spirit craved 100% cotton blue jeans, a loose t-shirt, and loose leather boots? And then, on to c) I learned a good handful of useful things, and met some really nice people over the weekend. So I felt shallow for letting mere clothing decisions overshadow the riches of the weekend. Luckily, after a quick change of clothes, it wasn’t too hard to sit and appreciate what I’ve gained.

To explain: I spent a good part of the weekend taking continuing-education workshops, in order to maintain one of my fitness instruction certifications, and also to gain some knowledge for my own athletic endeavors and injury management. I suspected there would be some risk of the material not applying to my yoga teaching, but as a health and fitness nut, I was sure there was something to be gained by the weekend, if only a big smile from a fun hour of Latin dance class on Saturday.

I was definitely rewarded with the latter. Additionally, my fears about the material not applying to my yoga practice and teaching were unfounded. I collected a bounty of useful tips/instruction (and refreshers) for alignment/anatomy, injury-management, and teaching methods. The pleasant surprise was the community aspect of this experience: over the whole weekend, there was a large concentration of people who are enthusiastic about fitness and about helping people. It was inspiring and gratifying. It made me feel like I’d made a good decision or two, in this regard, in the last few years. So, here’s to nice surprises (and great workout clothes).

Related: the freezer case at Izzy’s Ice Cream in St. Paul is pictured above because it was the scene of another surprising reveal in the realm of expectations. As part of our Valentine’s Day celebration, Steve and I headed to an ice cream shop that we hadn’t visited yet. I’d decided a week prior that I really wanted a hot fudge sundae. What I really wanted was one from Farrell’s – the Dixieland-themed restaurant of my childhood, where sundaes came in tall parfait glasses, accompanied with a small metal cup that had extra hot fudge. And … I didn’t get that. Frankly, what I got just didn’t compare, visually, especially as the hot fudge never seemed to have touched metal (not the warming pot, not the ladle, and not the fudge cup). Even with the cherry, it just wasn’t pretty – short, squat, lopsided, in a low disposable cup.

Thank goodness: it tasted great, partly due to the fact that some of the ice cream was their “Peace Coffee” flavor. Also, the experience of coming to an ice cream shop at this time of year in Minnesota, on this particular holiday, was positive, if not joyful. We sat there for maybe 15 minutes, and there was a constant stream of people coming in for ice cream. Perhaps they were celebrating love, or maybe just Tuesday, or maybe just great ice cream. Maybe that’s normal for Izzy’s on a Tuesday night in February, but this was the first February Tuesday night that I’ve ever been at an ice cream shop, with my amazing and handsome husband. Happy love day.

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